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Once Upon a Raven’s Nest : a life on Exmoor in an epoch of change



Paperback 400 pages
Quercus Publishing 11 April 2024
Davies, Catrina

3 in stock

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ISBN/SKU: 9781529425024 Categories/Genres: ,


‘This is a rich, beautiful and deeply moving book’ GEORGE MONBIOT’I loved this book’ CLOVER STROUDOnce Upon a Raven’s Nest is the story of a working class man, one Thomas Hedley of Exmoor, and of the planet during the period of its great acceleration towards the current climate emergency.

Born in 1955 to a poor family in Devon Thomas refused to conform. His fierce independence, recklessness and contrariness led not only to scrapes and self-inflicted dangers but to a life enriched by the love of women. Catrina Davies came to know him in his last years and has given his life and times in his own words, creating a rich, pungent language in a knowing, poetic and poignant voice.

We learn of his accumulation of engines, tools and guns, the complexity of his connection to nature, the animals he loved and his desire to hunt them. He recounts the terrible consequences of his fatal attraction to risk and machinery which led to his being paralysed for the last years of his life, confined to a wheelchair, hopelessly dependent but still watching, noticing, recording, loving the world.

The narrative is interwoven with a sequence of factual entries that chart the impending climate catastrophe and the consequences of our collective choices to ignore the warning of an environment on the verge of collapse.

Once Upon A Raven’s Nest is an unforgettable history of a life that is almost lost and an account of the destruction man has wrought on the earth in the time that Hedley worked the land.

‘Stunning. Urgent. Unforgettable’ TANYA SHADRICK’This has the unmistakable smell of a classic’ CHARLES FOSTER


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